What are isotonic drinks and what are they for? When to take them?

We can find them very easily on the shelves of all the supermarkets, and they are usually known by the name of rehydrating drinks, although the most common is that they are denominated as isotonic drinks.

They are also known as sport drinks for its different qualities to avoid dehydration caused by sweating derived from any sports practice, hence they are usually associated with sport and with the practice of physical exercise. But its uses do not end there.

Basically we can say that Isotonic drinks are beverages that have the ability to rehydrate our body, while increasing our performance.

To achieve this, we find in its composition water, certain complex carbohydrates (such as maltodextrin or glucose polymers), simple carbohydrates (such as dextrose, sucrose, fructose or sucrose) and certain mineral salts ( especially potassium, phosphorus, sodium and chlorine).

That is to say, they are specially designed drinks to avoid dehydration, to rehydrate our body in certain situations. For this reason they are not only recommended during sports, but also when we suffer from diarrhea or vomiting, by supposing the loss of water and electrolytes so important and fundamental for the proper functioning of our body.

So, what are isotonic drinks?

As we have mentioned, isotonic drinks are rehydration drinks that are usually used during sports. For this reason they are also also known by the name of sports drinks.

Explained in another way, they stand out for being liquid or prepared that, among other important functions, help positively when it comes to favoring the hydration of the organism, as well as the replacement of lost electrolytes, especially during sports practice.

And why are they known as isotonic drinks? Fundamentally because they contain a quantity of sugars and minerals dissolved in the water quite similar to the one we find in the blood, so that in our intestine they are absorbed quickly, passing into the blood and thus improving hydration.

Why are they known as sports drinks?

As we indicated, they are also known with this denomination because, at first, they were effectively designed for it: for sports, helping at the time of replace both water and minerals that are commonly lost through both sweat and breathing.

Therefore, they are very useful and appropriate in case of carrying out prolonged sports activities or of small duration but intense, even more if the activity is practiced in hot or humid climates.

Yes, they should not be confused with energy drinks or stimulants, because even if they are confused at times, they are not the same.

When is it advisable to consume them?

Although the most usual is to consume isotonic drinks every time we practice sports or when we simply do physical exercise, the reality is that they are not absolutely essential to certain exercises, especially when the practice lasts no more than an hour and its intensity is low or slightly moderate.

As long as the environment is not hot and sweating is excessive, at which time its consumption would be more than advisable.

This means that the consumption of isotonic drinks is recommended when the physical activity is intense, we sweat in excess and it lengthens in the time. Why? Very simple: when we practice some physical activity in an intense way the temperature of the body rises considerably, which leads us to sweat excessively.

This in turn causes our body to lose water salts through the pores of our skin, so a useful option to recover the substances we have lost is to opt for an isotonic drink.

When it comes to sports, it is interesting to drink one or two glasses of water before starting the activity, while in the course of it or after having finished with sports it is useful to drink isotonic drinks even if we are not thirsty . This will help us, as we have mentioned, to replenish the nutrients and fluids that our body has lost, and to keep pace if we continue with the activity.

Images | ISTOCKPHOTO / THINKSTOCK This article is published for informational purposes only. It can not and should not replace the consultation with a Physician. We advise you to consult your Trusted Doctor. ThemesExercise

Hydration: Sports Drinks vs Water - Texas Children's Sports Medicine (June 2024)